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New immigration policy to affect hospitality industry

Following the coalition government’s announcement to cap immigration from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Hospitality has called on the Government not to neglect the issue of skills shortages in the hospitality sector.

Such a cap will have a considerable effect on the UK hospitality sector, which already faces skills shortages with as many as one in every five vacancies being hard to fill, according to REC.

Apart from operational roles such as chefs and bar staff, a shortage has been highlighted in management skills. Shortages in the UK market continue to exist with only 10 per cent of hotel managers and six per cent of restaurant and catering managers having qualifications at managerial level.*

Commenting on the proposed cap, Suzanne Letting, REC Hospitality chair, said: “We realise that immigration is an issue that needs tackling. However, the Government needs to address the major issue of skills shortages in hospitality. The diverse nature of the UK hospitality sector is vital to its success and its opportunities to grow. Any immigration policies limiting the number of staff with the in-demand skills will have a direct impact on the already hard-pressed hospitality industry. With big events such as the Olympics coming up, the demand for staff will only increase so we need to ensure that our young people are trained and ready to take on these jobs if immigration routes are closed.”

* All stats referenced are taken from the REC Hospitality sector profile

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